Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat"

Essay by god4michaelUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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Stephen Crane: The Open Boat

There are many good short stories in this world, but how many of them can captivate the reader in such a short amount of time like that of Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat." As a reader of this story one may feel as if they too were on the boat with these men. Not just any writer could activate the reader in such a manner as this. Yet we will never know the true extent to how much more of an impact he would have made on American literature due to his early demise. Stephen Crane lived from 1871 to 1900, dying at the young age of twenty-nine. The fourteenth and youngest child of a Methodist minister, Crane was born on November 1, 1871 (Perkins 1304). From a very young age Crane loved to write. Crane was apparently a born writer, and he turned to newspaper work as the natural and quick means to make a living for himself.

While in college he would even sell sketches to the Detroit Free Press and during the summers he had written news for his brother. As a writer it was his nature to be experimental. At age twenty he wrote Maggie, the United States first completely naturalistic novel. By the age of twenty-four he produced The Red Badge of Courage, the first examples of American impressionism. In some of his poetry he had become one of the first writers to respond to the radical genius of Emily Dickinson. Although he lived a very short life he was " in every respect phenomenal" (Perkins 1304). He died in Baldenweilder, Germany due to many health issues.

In the year 1898, Stephen Crane composed the short story he named "The Open Boat." "The Open Boat" is a particularly interesting...